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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Global education in Canadian teacher education programs Christensen, Kelvin Daryl


Global education is that focus of education which is concerned with coming to a better understanding of worldwide (i.e. multinational] perspectives, problems, issues, interdependencies and human values. It was initially found in North American educational systems after World War II and it became a major focus of attention in the 1970s. Some global education content can be found in the 1982 public school curricula of the ten Canadian provinces. There was no information in the educational literature concerning global education in Canadian teacher education programs and so this study was developed. In the late spring of this year a twelve-item questionnaire was mailed to the heads of the social studies departments (or equivalent] of those Canadian higher education institutions which offer teacher education at at least the bachelors degree level. Fifty-two such institutions were identified. Forty English-language and twelve French- language questionnaires were mailed out with appropriate cover letters explaining the study. Several weeks after the initial mailing a follow-up letter and an additional questionnaire were mailed to those institutions which had not yet responded. Replies were received from thirty-six of the fifty-two institutions. Eighteen of these identified global education courses at their institutions. More than fifty specific global education courses were identified, overall, and of these there were slightly more at the undergraduate than graduate level. Most courses were identified as being for pre-service rather than in-service teacher education. Only two non-credit courses (workshops) were identified. There was some indication that a few institutions plan to add one or two modules or courses on global education over the next few years. Information was also obtained concerning exchange programs, resource centers of information, and sources of funding for the promotion of global education in teacher education programs. The general conclusion of this study was that there appears to be a marginal to modest level of global education present in the teacher education programs across the country tin most of the provinces). A secondary and less solid conclusion of this study was that over the next three to five years it appears as though a global education emphasis in Canadian teacher education programs will either be maintained at present levels or will be increased slightly.

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